Class: Investigating and Defending the Gospels #7 and #8


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Investigating and Defending the Gospels #7: 

Did the apostles conspire?

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 11, In the year of our Lord, 2015


  1. Why do people like conspiracy theories? 
    1. Do you believe any?
    2. Do you know how to spot a fake?
  2. Twelve men conspired in the Watergate coverup. 
    1. Yet, after only three weeks,
    2. they all began to confess, because
      1. they were not willing to suffer jail time
      2. for what they knew to be a lie.
        1. In America, would they have been threatened with:
          1. Beheading?
          2. Stoning?
          3. Whipping?
          4. Or any other physical harm?
        2. What would they have gained by keeping a lie?
  3. Did the apostles conspire to give us the Gospel message? 
    1. In particular, did they conspire about the resurrection of Christ?
    2. For giving their witness to the resurrection, what happened to them?
      1. Did they gain riches, honor, and power?
      2. Did they suffer persecution?


  1. Why We Know that the Apostles Did Not Conspire 
    1. The more people involved in a conspiracy, the more difficult it is to maintain.
      1. How much effort would be required
      2. to maintain the conspiracy among 12 men?
    2. Once they split up, how effective was it to communicate?
      1. Why is this important?
      2. Lies will change over time, especially with more involved.
        1. Also, what if one apostle fessed up that the whole thing was a lie?
        2. How would the other apostles know of his confession?
          1. They would all keep suffering for something
          2. that one of them had already denied.
            1. How many apostles denied the Gospel account,
            2. especially the resurrection?
              1. Not one of them ever recanted.
              2. They all affirmed the same truth to the day they died.
    3. They maintained their stories for a lifetime.
      1. Why would they do such, if they knew it to be false.
      2. How long did the Watergate conspirators last?
    4. They never recanted under pressure from persecution.
      1. What happened to James? (Acts 12.1–2)
      2. What did Herod do to Peter? (Acts 12.3–4)
        1. Peter would have thought that his life would end as well.
        2. Do we see Peter cowering and denying the Lord again? (Acts 12.5–19).
      3. What happened to Paul? (2Co 11.22–33)
  2. Does Their Willingness to Suffer Prove The Gospel Right? 
    1. Are they merely the same as the Al-Qaeda terrorists of 9.11?
    2. If not, what is the difference?
      1. The Islamic terrorists did not claim to witness anything.
      2. The apostles witnessed the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ.
        1. Therefore, the apostles knew whether they affirmed a lie or not.
        2. The terrorists merely claim to trust in the testimony of the Koran.
    3. We might die for something we think is the truth, but
      1. is not,
      2. whereas the apostles died what they knew firsthand was true.